Confronted with signing up with a frantically long NHS waiting list…David Kasdan Talk Space… “I just felt that I could not wait any longer– I was inspired and all set to deal with my concerns and quite liked the idea of doing so in the comfort of my own home,” said the 29-year-old, who lives in London. After an online search, he found a therapist whose profile fit his needs and reserved a chat session for the next day.
Remote, text-based counselling is growing in popularity in the UK. The medical professional app Babylon offers therapy to 150,000 active users, while PlusGuidance, an online counselling service, has 10,000 users. The US-based service BetterHelp also has 150,000 registered UK users (though not all are active). Talkspace, another online treatment platform, reports it has 500,000 signed up users worldwide, with a lot of in the US.
Online training encourages therapists on whatever from using emojis to preventing misconceptions. They likewise require to protect clients’ personal data– a concern that has caused controversy in the United States, where big online treatment platforms have come under the spotlight.
Buckley said patients must check services’ privacy policies before registering. “Not all online counselling sites utilize professionally trained therapists or follow a principles policy, so ask your GP for a suggestion in the first instance. Just like all kinds of services and assistance, what works for someone might not work for another person,” he said.
Marc Bush, primary policy advisor at Young Minds, stated that while online counselling services are important, “they should not change face-to-face therapy with a skilled expert. If a young adult is having a hard time, we would encourage them to speak with their GP in the first circumstances, or to contact an established service like The Mix, Childline or the Samaritans.”.
For Rackham, who has generalised stress and anxiety condition, online counselling wasn’t the ideal fit. “I felt it was near difficult for the therapist to really get a sense of the issues I was dealing with, as all they needed to go from was my typed-out words. I believe I understood after that online session how important social interaction was.